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Installing new RAM


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#1
Bob_C

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I checked with a Crucial.com scan regarding upgrading RAM. They advised 1GB x 2 to replace my 256MB x 2.
QUESTION:is replacing RAM as simple as pulling the two 256 units out and pushing the two 1 GB units into the slots? And then simply starting up my computer? Or are there other steps that will come into play? Thank you in advance for any reply.
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#2
rshaffer61

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It is that easy.
Turn system off
Remove power cord from system
Open system and remove memory currently installed
Put new memory in the slots you took the old memory out of.
Close system back up
Hook up electric to computer
Start computer
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#3
Digerati

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is replacing RAM as simple as pulling the two 256 units out and pushing the two 1 GB units into the slots?

Electrically yes. Mechanically, no!

I don't know of any motherboard that allows you to remove RAM modules (sticks) by simply pulling them out without releasing some sort of locking mechanism first. There will be a key, notch or lever (typically a lever on each end of the slot) that locks the sticks in place that you must release first to remove the sticks. Some modules then come straight out, and on some older boards, the modules then tilt and then almost fall out (these are called ZIF or zero insertion force sockets). If you just start yanking on the sticks, you are likely to damage the slots, the old sticks, and/or the motherboard around the slot or around the motherboard mounting points (mounting screw holes). Upon removal, immediately note how the stick is oriented - how the contacts are keyed so you insert the new sticks in the same orientation. They are designed to only go in one way.

When installing the new sticks, you reverse the process. In some cases, typically with the slots that have side levers, you need to exert some considerable straight-down force to insert the sticks entirely in the slots until you hear and/or feel the "click" of the locking mechanism. IT IS CRITICAL you pay attention to how the contacts are keyed/oriented so you insert the new module in the same orientation as the old. Again, the sticks and socket are designed so the sticks can only inserted one way. But with force, they can be inserted incorrectly and cause significant damage - especially when powered up. And since it does take some force to insert them correctly too, it is essential you get it oriented right the first time.

Also, after you unplug the computer from the wall and before reaching into the case, touch bare metal of the case to discharge any static in your body. This is crucial to ensure no ESD damage to the very sensitive memory devices or motherboard. Note a destructive discharge (static shock) can occur at levels that are well below the threshold of human awareness. In other words, sensitive devices can be destroyed without you even being aware a discharge occurred. So touch before to discharge and frequently thereafter to prevent static buildup from you squirming in your clothes. And never ever touch the electrical contacts of the modules. This is to prevent corrosion caused by skin oils, as well as ESD damage.

I am not trying to scare you or discourage you from doing this. Certainly upgrading RAM is one of the easiest hardware upgrade tasks. But it is important to understand there are essential precautions and that it is not as simple as unplugging and plugging a power cord from a wall outlet.

Note that replacing RAM modules instructions will be in your PC manual if factory made, or motherboard manual if self or custom built. If you don't have your manual, look on your computer maker's website (or motherboard maker's site) - most makers maintain manuals and/or upgrade instructions there.

Once you have inserted your new modules, inspect your case interior to make sure all your data and power cables are still securely fastened and the case interior is clean of heat trapping dust.

After that, connect and restart your computer and your new memory should immediately be recognized so electrically, you should not have to do anything. However, if your Page File was previously set manually, I would adjust that for the new RAM.

Finally, note that going from 512Mb to 2Gb should provide a very significant overall performance boost. And it will save much wear and tear on your hard drive as the drive's Page File will not be getting clobbered nearly as much.
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#4
rshaffer61

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Are you still having problems with your issue?
It has been 27 days since your last response and I was wondering if the issue has been resolved?
If so can you explain how it was resolved so others may be able to fix it if they have the same issue.
If not please let us know and we can continue with helping you to resolve the issue.
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#5
Bob_C

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I'm sorry that I have been slow to reply. I am hoping to follow these instructions listed above, but have yet to get around to it in my ultra-busy life currently. However, I do intend to do this and will be happy to send a follow-up of my success or failure. Ssshhh. Discard that last word.
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#6
Troy

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Further to Digerati's essay above (full of good information), I always recommend running a memory diagnostic when replacing/upgrading RAM. This makes sure that the new memory works as expected (not faulty). If you need any help with this please feel free to let us know.
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